Making sure that any data transfers to and from your company’s servers remain safe and secure should be one of your highest priorities. Otherwise, you’re in for a heap of trouble. But if you stick to the end of this article, you’ll know exactly what to do in order to stay on the safe side. Are you ready? Great, let’s begin!
A varying level of risk
For starters, let’s elaborate on the fact that not all data transfers are created equal, at least in terms of any risks involved and the sensitivity of data transferred. For example, sending a simple plain text email to one of your business partners with no attachments and no confidential information within can hardly be considered problematic, even if that email is intercepted by an unauthorized person along the way.
Now imagine the disastrous outcome of transferring a file containing document scans of your clients’ government-issued documents like ID cards or passports, which you may be required to collect by law in case you’re selling particular types of products in your e-commerce store. If that gets in the wrong hands, all hell could break loose, and ID theft is not out of the question.
Practical examples of data transfers
When you’re uploading something to the company’s servers, when you’re sending out an email, even when you’re using the wireless network to transfer a file through a local network to your co-worker’s computer… all of these are examples of data transfers.
As you can see, these tend to be quite common in a typical organization or even co-working space. Every single time you decide to transfer data, you subject it to the risk of being intercepted by an unauthorized third party. And that’s not even counting the potential cyber security risk that’s present by default on any computer that is used for storing sensitive data, as hackers could break into it at any time.
There’s also the risk of human error
Let’s say you’re storing your customers’ payment information like credit card data in a single unencrypted file. That’s simply asking for trouble; a single wrong move is all it takes for it to get in the wrong hands. The fact of the matter is that, in some cases, hackers might not even be involved for the data to be sent to the wrong person. A small typo in the email address can be all it takes for this to happen.
The ramifications of data breaches
As if the penalties for disrespecting the local cyber security laws and regulations weren’t enough (think in terms of the upcoming European GDPR), you can also get sued for damages by those whose personal data fell in the wrong hands. All of these costs can accumulate and force you to close down your business for good.
How to stay out of legal trouble
Apart from using a dedicated piece of software for secure and compliant data transfers, you should practice common sense and remain focused at all times, especially when dealing with sensitive data. A good firewall and a reliable anti-virus program also goes a long way.
Data breaches are no laughing matter, and sometimes, they cannot be avoided despite your best efforts. But if you follow the tips we’ve outlined above, you can put yourself and your company in the best possible position to minimize the risk and prevent liability lawsuits.